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Tokyo to Kyoto: First Few Days of Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan 2009

Our first three nights of the Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan in Autumn 2009 took us around Tokyo to Ahkihabara Electric Town, Shinjuku,  Asakusa and Kaminarimon Gate, and now Kyoto. Seven unschooling/homeschooling world travelers with our own old Japanese style apartment in the center of the cultural center of Japan!

Now for some photos!

Most of these photos are not by me or with my camera: we’re pretty much sharing each others photos. And I finally got my own new camera up and running.

Sakura Hotel: I researched a lot for which hostel to stay in Tokyo and I have to say this place turned out to be great!

Sakura Hotel: I researched a lot for which hostel to stay in Tokyo and I have to say this place turned out to be great!

Sarah really enjoyed the funny Japanese TV and commercials while checking e-mail at the Sakura Hotel.

In Sakura Hotel: Sarah really enjoyed the funny Japanese TV shows and commercials while checking her e-mail!

The Worldschool Travel Tour group of homeschoolers/unschoolers in Ahkihabara "Electric Town" in Tokyo, Japan!
The Worldschool Travel Tour group of homeschoolers/unschoolers in Ahkihabara “Electric Town” in Tokyo, Japan!
Bustling Akihabara "Electric Town" in Tokoy, Japan.

Bustling Akihabara "Electric Town" in Tokoy, Japan. (photo by Hannah)

One of the many department stores full of electric gadgets in Akihabara, Tokyo including "digitaru kamera" (digital camera) on B1F and "noto paso con" (notebook personal computers) on 2F.

One of the many department stores full of electric gadgets in Akihabara, Tokyo including "digitaru kamera" (digital camera) on B1F and "noto paso con" (notebook personal computers) on 2F. (photo by Hannah)

Then we went back to the hostel and met my old friend Satoru who recently moved back to Japan.

We tried to go to the park around the imperial palace but for some reason it was closed. But it still looked nice walking around it.

Modern buildings and old stone walls around the Imperial Palace park: one of the many sights of contrast in Japan.

Modern buildings and old stone walls around the Imperial Palace park: one of the many sights of contrast in Japan. (photo by Becki)

Becki's photo of one of the gates (the Big Hair Gate?) at the park around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan.

One of the gates (the Big Hair Gate?) at the park around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. (photo by Becki)

Eli and Satoru the Arlingtonians, near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Eli and Satoru the Arlingtonians! Near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. I think he looks more Japanese now that he's been living here.

The Good Dude: Satoru asked a guy about the story behind this statue. Turns out someone tried to shoot at the Emperor's Palace from this direction. This made this place considered bad luck so this guy was put here to balance the bad luck. Satoru said this gets into Shinto stuff but just: "This is a good dude."

The Good Dude: Satoru asked a guy about the story behind this statue. Turns out someone tried to shoot at the Emperor's Palace from this direction. This made this place considered bad luck so this guy was put here to balance the bad luck. Satoru said this gets into Shinto stuff but just: "This is a good dude." (Photo by Becki)

Then Satoru came up with the idea of going to the Tokyo Municipal Government Building in Shinjuku. He said it’s like the view from Tokyo Tower only it’s free and you can see Tokyo Tower from it!

But jet lag started to set in and we really needed food so we went to a little noodle place.

Udon noodles at some shop in Shinjuku.

Udon noodles at some shop in Shinjuku.

David enjoying some noodles and broth at a little shop.

David enjoying some noodles and broth at a little shop.

Then we took a super fast elevator up 45 flights to the top of the Tokyo Municipal Government Building (our ears popped during the ride).

View of Tokyo metropolis from Tokyo Municipal Government Building.

View of Tokyo metropolis from Tokyo Municipal Government Building. (photo by Sarah)

View of tall buildings from Tokyo Municipal Government Building.

View of tall buildings from Tokyo Municipal Government Building. (Sarah)

Tokyo Tower! As Satoru pointed out there's one thing you can't see from Tokyo Tower: Tokyo Tower. But you can see Tokyo's most famous landmark from Tokyo Municipal Building....

Tokyo Tower! As Satoru pointed out there's one thing you can't see from Tokyo Tower: Tokyo Tower. But you can see Tokyo's most famous landmark from Tokyo Municipal Building.... (Sarah)

Alright, my intention was actually to “do nothing”, totally take it easy, on our first full day in Tokyo but instead we had this awesome busy day! So we spent the next day just hanging in and around the hostel.

Actually for breakfast we just got food from the convenience store:

Hannah and Becki bought some drinks, rice balls, and green doughnuts for breakfast from the convenience store.

Hannah and Becki bought some drinks, rice balls, and green doughnuts for breakfast from the convenience store.

I got some oden: tofu, egg, and potato in broth at 7 Eleven

I got some oden: tofu, egg, and potato in broth from 7 Eleven.

David had a warm bun with pork.

David had a warm bun with pork. (these photos from Hannah)

Then we actually had some great conversations about college, religion, and finding your way in the world.  Also a lot of joking around, looking at funny things on the net, and reviewing our photos so far.

All the unschooling/homeschooling young adults hanging at Sakura Hotel, Tokyo, Japan.

All the unschooling/homeschooling young adults hanging at Sakura Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. (These two photos I actually took!)

Conor had his head down in that other pic so here's a good shot of him!

Conor had his head down in that other pic so here's a good shot of him and Hannah!

For lunch we had some really good Japanese Chinese food: Chinese food is different in every country! Back at the hostel we ended up watching some really powerful short films: Akira Kurasawa’s Dreams. Some sad but beautiful mystical vignettes from the mind of Japan’s most famous director.

The next day we went back to Akihabara for more exploring. Then we went to Asakusa and the Kaminarimon Gate.

Back of one of the gates in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.

Back of one of the gates in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. (Sarah's photo)

Buddha statue in Kaminarimon, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.

Buddha statue in Kaminarimon, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.

Asakusa scene: shrine, stone bridge, and river with colorful koi.

Asakusa scene: shrine, stone bridge, and river with colorful koi.

Alright, then we got back to the hostel, jumped in a couple taxis, and then took the Shinkansen to Kyoto! It took 2.5 hours and then it took the next taxi drivers another hour to find our new place! No, they had trouble finding it but it turns out this is a great place!

We just explored our neighborhood some but I’ll save that for the next post!

4 Responses to “Tokyo to Kyoto: First Few Days of Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan 2009”

  1. zenmomma says:

    Looks so amazing! thanks for posting Eli.

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  4. Eli Gerzon says:

    It has been really cool: thank you so much Mary!

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